Planning the itinerary and the financials of your career break travel doesn’t take long if you have lots of spare cash lying around.
There might be the temptation to just quit your job immediately and go travelling. Don’t do that. It’s irresponsible. Take your time to save and plan carefully.
How much time you have to plan your career break travel depends on how much time you take to save up for the trip.
For my own round-the-world career break travel, I took two years of planning and saving before I set off on my adventure.
Here are the steps to take to find out how much time you can spend to plan your career break:
#1 Know how much you have in your savings
Take a look at your account and see how much savings you have. How much money can you actually use for your career break travel?
It’s better to have a separate bank account where you keep your savings so you don’t “accidentally” spend it.
I’ve made the mistake of approving a credit card application that goes along with my savings-only account. And I started spending on that card so my savings didn’t accumulate as fast as I hoped.
#2 Decide on the cost of your trip
To figure out the cost of your trip, you can base this on how much time you want to travel or the countries you want to cover.
If it’s based on how many days you want to travel, you can estimate how much you will be spending per day on the trip. Afterwards you decide on the countries you can go to based on your budget.
If you’re calculating the cost based on the countries you want to cover, you can decide on how many days you can spend in each country.
I have a free 5-day finance course that walks you through this or you can watch this Facebook video on calculating the cost of a single trip.
#3 Figure out how much time you need to save to reach your savings goal
Once you have a figure from #2, look at your savings and you calculate how long it’ll take you to save that much money.
For me, I gave myself a ballpark spend of S$16,000 based on a journey around the world. I figured that 4.5 months is just about enough time to cover the route and be within that budget.
I was strict about saving money so the savings account grew with my monthly savings and the yearly 13th month bonus.
#4 Use the saving period to plan your trip
You can start planning a general itinerary while you’re saving.
I didn’t plan the day-to-day itinerary. Instead, I focused on the countries I wanted to go and the more important sites.
I took a risk when planning for South America. The only site I wanted to go was Machu Picchu. I bought a ticket to Buenoes Aires, Argentina, and a ticket out from Lima, Peru.
I had a vague idea of wanting to visit Ecuador but eventually had to dropped it off my list.
#5 Book a big-ticket item to make your plans concrete
There is a risk that the travel date feels so far away that you lose interest in planning and saving for your trip.
To make sure your trip feels real, I recommend booking a big-ticket item that will cost you if you ask for a refund.
For me, it was a 15-night cruise from Dubai to Barcelona (later I changed the trip to end in Italy). After paying for the cruise, my round-the-world trip finally felt that it was concrete and I started being more motivated to save and plan.